Aphrodisiacs have been used throughout history and many ancient aphrodisiac mixtures are still popular today. When it comes to herbal aphrodisiac supplements, male sexual health products are often the most abundant in supply. Regardless of the focus on male sexual health products, many herbs and libido-boosting supplements also exist to support female sexual health. Here are 6 herbs you should know about.
Saffron, a culinary delicacy, has been heralded for centuries as a powerful libido-boosting herb, and research at the University of Guelph supports its aphrodisiac claims. Although it’s expensive, a tiny amount goes a long way. All you need is a strand or two to provide a positive effect. 
Commonly used in sweet recipes like pumpkin pie or Indian cuisine, nutmeg has been documented in animal studies to produce increased sexual activity in male rats. Nutmeg has been used as an aphrodisiac by African women and is still used today by women of a variety of cultures. Therefore, it’s likely that the effects demonstrated on males are the same in females. 
Perhaps the most beneficial spice for supporting female libido is nutmeg’s cousin, clove. Cloves are used as an aphrodisiac in Asian countries for women who have lost sexual desire and satisfaction. It’s also noted as a potent spice for men with erectile dysfunction and those experiencing problems with premature ejaculation. 
While this herb has been documented for improving the sexuality of male rats, it also has a reputation for helping out in the female libido department. The benefits may be non-gender specific, meaning that it could possibly affect both genders. Benefits for female sexual health may also be related to its anti-anxiety and relaxation effect. 
5. Maca Root
Long used in Asian countries, maca root has a rich history for benefiting male sexuality. It has been shown in at least one scientific study to reduce sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women and does so without inducing hormonal imbalance. 
6. Tribulus terrestris
Much attention has been given to the benefits of Tribulus terrestris for male sexual health; but Tribulus terrestris offers a lot to women, too. One study found that Tribulus improved sexual desire in 49 out of 50 females. Another study found that women who took Tribulus experienced heightened sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction. It’s believed that Tribulus stimulates androgen receptors in the brain to help the body respond positively to hormones.
Although not an herb, L-arginine may help direct blood to sexual organs, a benefit that could significantly support arousal. On top of that, it’s an essential nutrient that aids blood circulation, heart health, and immune system function. Since it’s a necessary amino acid, it may be easy to receive L-arginine simply by incorporating more protein-rich foods into your diet.  
The use of dietary supplements should not replace a healthy lifestyle, as exercise, diet, and stress-management techniques all play a role in supporting sexual health and libido. For women, there are a number of other techniques that can be incorporated into a daily routine that may boost the overall quality of sexual experience.
What nutrients, compounds, and herbs do you use to support your sex drive? Leave a comment and let us know!
- John P. Melnyk, Massimo F. Marcone. Aphrodisiacs from plant and animal sources--A review of current scientific literature. Food Research International. Volume 44, Issue 4, May 2011, Pages 840-850.
- Tajuddin, Shamshad Ahmad, Abdul Latif, Iqbal Ahmad Qasmi and Kunwar Mohammad. An experimental study of sexual function improving effect of Myristica fragrans Houtt. (nutmeg) BMC Complemenetary & Alternative Medicine. 2005, 5:16. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-5-16.
- Tajuddin, Ahmad S, Latif A, Qasmi IA. Effect of 50% ethanolic extract of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry. (clove) on sexual behaviour of normal male rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2004 Nov 5;4:17.
- Dhawan K, Kumar S, Sharma A. Beneficial effects of chrysin and benzoflavone on virility in 2-year-old male rats. J Med Food. 2002 Spring;5(1):42-8.
- Brooks NA, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Ashton JF, Cox MB, Stojanovska L. Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181732953.
- Ito TY, Trant AS, Polan ML. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of ArginMax, a nutritional supplement for enhancement of female sexual function. J Sex Marital Ther. 2001 Oct-Dec;27(5):541-9.
- Grace Hammerstrom. Nutritional supplement reported to improve women’s sexual function. Stanford Report, June 6, 2001.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.